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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

                Thank you to The Broke and the Bookish for creating and hosting Top Ten Tuesday.

I was hoping to gain more technical knowledge before jumping in, but I could not resist this list topic.


1    1. Sarah Rees Brennan – the author of The Demon’s Lexicon  trilogy, her works also include Unspoken, the first novel of the Lynburn Legacy. In addition she collaborated with Justine Larbalestier Team Human, a Twilight parody with a lot of depth.  I’ve enjoyed all the works listed for many reasons but mainly I feel Rees Brennan has a real grasp of characterization. Obviously all characters are constructs created by an author to serve the plot, but I feel that Sarah Reese Brennan is masterful at creating characters with the illusion of agency, who take action consistent with their characterization, and who are diverse, allowed to grow, and do not submit easily to tropes. They feel like people.


Sarah Rees Brennan’s newest novel, Untold, will be released August 29, 2013 in the UK and September 24, 2013 in the U.S.


1    2. Malinda Lo – A confession: of Malinda Lo’s published work I’ve only read Ash and have Huntress on my shamefully long TBR list. Ash is a fairytale retelling, one of my favorite kind of stories. It’s the story of Cinderella where the eponymous character must choose between a dark fairy who can give her all she dreams of and the King’s Huntress, who she has cultivated a friendship with. The prince is a nonentity. Lo’s prose is beautiful and descriptive, drawing you in to this new take on a timeless tale. I definitely need to move Huntress up my reading list.


If fairytale retellings aren’t your jam, Malinda Lo has a new science fiction YA series Adaption and its sequel Inheritance, also out September 24, 2013.


1    3. Karen HealeyGuardian of the Dead is one of my favorite books and the only novel I’ve personally read to feature a character identified as asexual. It also features a wonderful many-layered protagonist and an interesting romance. The Maori mythology of the New Zealand set story was fascinating. As much as I enjoy fairytale retellings, it’s also good to read about something new. The book is also genuinely creepy, with an eye snatching serial killer lurking in the background.

Other books by Karen Healey include The Shattering and When We Wake



      4. Margaret Mahy – Speaking of New Zealand, this multi-award winning author wrote one of my favorite novels of all time: The Changeover. I discovered this book in my local library when I was 11 and obsessed with R.L. Stine and Fear Street. I thought it was incredible and it stayed with me for years, so much so that I hunted down a copy to see if it was a fantastic as I remembered. It certainly was. Mahy’s novels are older, The Changeover was first published in 1984, but they are definitely worth a read and hopefully will be re-released at some point.

Other notable titles include Maddigan’s Fantasy and The Magician of Hoad.


1    5. Jonathan Stroud – In a deviation from YA, let’s talk about an author whose novels gear toward the middle grade. The Bartimaeus Trilogy is one of the best series I ever read. Featuring a goofy, footnotes-loving djinn as the narrator, an ambivalent anti-hero protagonist, and an amazing heroine, I cannot recommend this trilogy enough. From the writing to the world-building to the character relationships, I cannot recommend these books enough and I don’t know why they aren’t more popular. I’m giving The Amulet of Samarkand to my nephew once he finishes the Harry Potter series. I think it’ll be right up his alley.

Jonathan Stroud has a new middle grade series coming out. The first book, The Screaming Staircase, will be published September 17, 2013.


6. Megan Whalen Turner – Another all time favorite, The Queen’s Thief series also has fantastic characters, great writing, and great world building (do you sense a theme?). Like Margaret Mahy, people have heard of this author but she's not in the general zeitgeist as much anymore. Let me drop some knowledge to try and change that. The titular character of The Queen of Attolia ranks among one of the best characters of all time, imho. Of course, that’s me, as I like my heroines like I like my coffee, dark and pragmatic (with some cream). Don’t let anyone spoil The Thief for you, it may seem like slow going at first, but it’s worth it.


Two more books are planned for this series, yay!




7. Alaya Dawn Johnson - I first discovered this author via the fun historical urban fantasy Moonshine. This novel, set in the 1920's, has an amazing sense of setting, sense of humor, and sense of mystery. A social activist leading lady, a romantic interest who is hot both figuratively and literally, and a child vampire gang leader are just a few of the cast of characters  An enjoyable experience all around. Her YA debut, The Summer Prince, has a future setting that is truly unique. A dystopia for those that feel they are burning out on dystopias and are looking for something new. 

Moonshine has a sequel:  Wicked City



8. Ysabeau S. Wilce - In Flora Segunda and the following novels I was introduced to the world of Califa, a place that was truly strange and fascinating. There's so much I love about these novels it's hard to describe what I love best. The world building? The humor? Flora herself? Poppy? I really feel my favorite thing is Wilce's approach to gender, in that traditional roles are nonexistent. Flora's mother is in charge of the army and gave birth while on the march. Relationships are also shown to be quite complex, particular those between Flora's mother and her PTSD suffering husband. The universe is a sublime mix of darkness and silliness. Just look at the full title of the first book: Flora Segunda: Being the Magical Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog.
              
                              I don't know if a fourth Flora book is planned, but I certainly hope so. 

9. Leah Cypess - In her two novels Leah Cypess created two very distinct and memorable magical settings. Mistwood is its own original fairytale once again featuring one of my favorite things, a pragmatic female character. She  must excel at political maneuvering in order to protect a king from assassination as well as discover her own identity. Nightspell takes the political shenanigans to another level as the herione must adjust to a new country in which most of the citizens are ghosts. I'd definitely recommend these novels to anyone who enjoys Kristin Cashore's Graceling Realm novels. 

Leah Cypress has a new novel coming March 4, 2014 that I'm excited for:

10. Rick Yancey - I know, I know. Rick Yancey's been getting a lot of attention lately for his new post-apocalyptic novel The 5th Wave (with good reason, that book is great) but today I want to talk about The Monstrumologist. The Monstrumologist series: the best books nobody has read. I picked up the first one a couple of years ago because I saw it was a Printz Honor book, the cover was mysterious, and I was surprised I had never heard of it. I then dropped it on my TBR pile and forgot about it until a year later when I wanted something spooky for fall. I preceded to devour the book and immediately acquired the next two. Luckily it was a non-busy weekend so I was free to embark on the emotional roller coaster that is the adventures of Will Henry and Pellinore Warthrop. The story is gory but the writing is beautiful, a definite recommendation for anyone who enjoys horror, Victorian novels, complex relationships, and who won't mind that while it is a love story it's not a romance. I'm so glad that fan support enabled Yancy to write a fourth and final book, and so sad that there won't be a dozen more. 

I'll be buying The Final Descent September 10, 2013, along with a bucket for my tears. 







2 comments:

Tanya Patrice said...

Awesome list and thanks for introducing me to new-to-me authors. I've been hoping to read something by Lo for a while, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Tanya Patrice
Girlxoxo.com

Anna said...

Yay! :) I can't believe that Leah is on someone else's list too!!! I absolutely love her books. Did you know she has a story in the anthology 'Two and Twenty Dark Tales' and a novella/short story set in the same universe as Mistwood? You should check them out!

My TTT:

http://diamondinroughcoal.blogspot.com/2013/07/top-ten-tuesday-1.html

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top 10 Authors Who Deserve More Recognition


                Thank you to The Broke and the Bookish for creating and hosting Top Ten Tuesday.

I was hoping to gain more technical knowledge before jumping in, but I could not resist this list topic.


1    1. Sarah Rees Brennan – the author of The Demon’s Lexicon  trilogy, her works also include Unspoken, the first novel of the Lynburn Legacy. In addition she collaborated with Justine Larbalestier Team Human, a Twilight parody with a lot of depth.  I’ve enjoyed all the works listed for many reasons but mainly I feel Rees Brennan has a real grasp of characterization. Obviously all characters are constructs created by an author to serve the plot, but I feel that Sarah Reese Brennan is masterful at creating characters with the illusion of agency, who take action consistent with their characterization, and who are diverse, allowed to grow, and do not submit easily to tropes. They feel like people.


Sarah Rees Brennan’s newest novel, Untold, will be released August 29, 2013 in the UK and September 24, 2013 in the U.S.


1    2. Malinda Lo – A confession: of Malinda Lo’s published work I’ve only read Ash and have Huntress on my shamefully long TBR list. Ash is a fairytale retelling, one of my favorite kind of stories. It’s the story of Cinderella where the eponymous character must choose between a dark fairy who can give her all she dreams of and the King’s Huntress, who she has cultivated a friendship with. The prince is a nonentity. Lo’s prose is beautiful and descriptive, drawing you in to this new take on a timeless tale. I definitely need to move Huntress up my reading list.


If fairytale retellings aren’t your jam, Malinda Lo has a new science fiction YA series Adaption and its sequel Inheritance, also out September 24, 2013.


1    3. Karen HealeyGuardian of the Dead is one of my favorite books and the only novel I’ve personally read to feature a character identified as asexual. It also features a wonderful many-layered protagonist and an interesting romance. The Maori mythology of the New Zealand set story was fascinating. As much as I enjoy fairytale retellings, it’s also good to read about something new. The book is also genuinely creepy, with an eye snatching serial killer lurking in the background.

Other books by Karen Healey include The Shattering and When We Wake



      4. Margaret Mahy – Speaking of New Zealand, this multi-award winning author wrote one of my favorite novels of all time: The Changeover. I discovered this book in my local library when I was 11 and obsessed with R.L. Stine and Fear Street. I thought it was incredible and it stayed with me for years, so much so that I hunted down a copy to see if it was a fantastic as I remembered. It certainly was. Mahy’s novels are older, The Changeover was first published in 1984, but they are definitely worth a read and hopefully will be re-released at some point.

Other notable titles include Maddigan’s Fantasy and The Magician of Hoad.


1    5. Jonathan Stroud – In a deviation from YA, let’s talk about an author whose novels gear toward the middle grade. The Bartimaeus Trilogy is one of the best series I ever read. Featuring a goofy, footnotes-loving djinn as the narrator, an ambivalent anti-hero protagonist, and an amazing heroine, I cannot recommend this trilogy enough. From the writing to the world-building to the character relationships, I cannot recommend these books enough and I don’t know why they aren’t more popular. I’m giving The Amulet of Samarkand to my nephew once he finishes the Harry Potter series. I think it’ll be right up his alley.

Jonathan Stroud has a new middle grade series coming out. The first book, The Screaming Staircase, will be published September 17, 2013.


6. Megan Whalen Turner – Another all time favorite, The Queen’s Thief series also has fantastic characters, great writing, and great world building (do you sense a theme?). Like Margaret Mahy, people have heard of this author but she's not in the general zeitgeist as much anymore. Let me drop some knowledge to try and change that. The titular character of The Queen of Attolia ranks among one of the best characters of all time, imho. Of course, that’s me, as I like my heroines like I like my coffee, dark and pragmatic (with some cream). Don’t let anyone spoil The Thief for you, it may seem like slow going at first, but it’s worth it.


Two more books are planned for this series, yay!




7. Alaya Dawn Johnson - I first discovered this author via the fun historical urban fantasy Moonshine. This novel, set in the 1920's, has an amazing sense of setting, sense of humor, and sense of mystery. A social activist leading lady, a romantic interest who is hot both figuratively and literally, and a child vampire gang leader are just a few of the cast of characters  An enjoyable experience all around. Her YA debut, The Summer Prince, has a future setting that is truly unique. A dystopia for those that feel they are burning out on dystopias and are looking for something new. 

Moonshine has a sequel:  Wicked City



8. Ysabeau S. Wilce - In Flora Segunda and the following novels I was introduced to the world of Califa, a place that was truly strange and fascinating. There's so much I love about these novels it's hard to describe what I love best. The world building? The humor? Flora herself? Poppy? I really feel my favorite thing is Wilce's approach to gender, in that traditional roles are nonexistent. Flora's mother is in charge of the army and gave birth while on the march. Relationships are also shown to be quite complex, particular those between Flora's mother and her PTSD suffering husband. The universe is a sublime mix of darkness and silliness. Just look at the full title of the first book: Flora Segunda: Being the Magical Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog.
              
                              I don't know if a fourth Flora book is planned, but I certainly hope so. 

9. Leah Cypess - In her two novels Leah Cypess created two very distinct and memorable magical settings. Mistwood is its own original fairytale once again featuring one of my favorite things, a pragmatic female character. She  must excel at political maneuvering in order to protect a king from assassination as well as discover her own identity. Nightspell takes the political shenanigans to another level as the herione must adjust to a new country in which most of the citizens are ghosts. I'd definitely recommend these novels to anyone who enjoys Kristin Cashore's Graceling Realm novels. 

Leah Cypress has a new novel coming March 4, 2014 that I'm excited for:

10. Rick Yancey - I know, I know. Rick Yancey's been getting a lot of attention lately for his new post-apocalyptic novel The 5th Wave (with good reason, that book is great) but today I want to talk about The Monstrumologist. The Monstrumologist series: the best books nobody has read. I picked up the first one a couple of years ago because I saw it was a Printz Honor book, the cover was mysterious, and I was surprised I had never heard of it. I then dropped it on my TBR pile and forgot about it until a year later when I wanted something spooky for fall. I preceded to devour the book and immediately acquired the next two. Luckily it was a non-busy weekend so I was free to embark on the emotional roller coaster that is the adventures of Will Henry and Pellinore Warthrop. The story is gory but the writing is beautiful, a definite recommendation for anyone who enjoys horror, Victorian novels, complex relationships, and who won't mind that while it is a love story it's not a romance. I'm so glad that fan support enabled Yancy to write a fourth and final book, and so sad that there won't be a dozen more. 

I'll be buying The Final Descent September 10, 2013, along with a bucket for my tears. 







2 comments:

  1. Awesome list and thanks for introducing me to new-to-me authors. I've been hoping to read something by Lo for a while, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay! :) I can't believe that Leah is on someone else's list too!!! I absolutely love her books. Did you know she has a story in the anthology 'Two and Twenty Dark Tales' and a novella/short story set in the same universe as Mistwood? You should check them out!

    My TTT:

    http://diamondinroughcoal.blogspot.com/2013/07/top-ten-tuesday-1.html

    ReplyDelete

Thank you, comments are appreciated :)